Meraki

#HUMBLED | THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

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My favorite book in Elementary School was called the Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the US) by Philip Pullman. The story is set in a parallel universe and chronicles the journey of Lyra Belacqua into the Arctic. If you haven't read the book, you should (the first and second book are much better than the third). Anyway, I digress. This book was my first...
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BURNT MISO RAMEN | GOGYO

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I am a big fan of ramen - maybe it's due to my 1/4 japanese-ness, or that it warms you up like nothing else on a cold day, or simply because it's just delicious. Whatever the reason, I love ramen and I eat it frequently. Naturally, on a recent trip to Japan I went a little ramen crazy, leading me to my first bowl of burnt...
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SNAPSHOT OF KYOTO TEMPLES

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I love Japanese architecture for its complex simplicity (if that makes any sense to you). From afar, the forms and design seem simple, but take a closer look and the structures and components are actually wildly complicated, intricate, and labor intensive. This almost effortless beauty is innate in Japanese culture as a whole and can be seen not only in architecture but also in food,...
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A DAY IN ARASHIYAMA

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On a recent trip to Kyoto I found myself with most of a day free. I had spent the morning at Kiyomizu-dera temple overlooking the city and was looking for something peaceful and more low-key to do for the next couple hours. I vaguely recalled someone recommending that I visit the Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama when I had mentioned I was heading to Kyoto for...
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HOTEL MOUSAI | PUERTO VALLARTA

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I recently scored an incredible Travelzoo deal and took a spur of the moment long weekend trip to Puerto Vallarta. It took me about 26 minutes after looking at the promo to decide I just had to go. A  new hotel slightly south of the Old Town of Puerto Vallarta was having an off season sale. Basically a room that would typically run $800+ was...
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